I spent over 4 weeks in Saranda, a little town in the south of Albania. A place took my interest not because it’s something new and exotic but because I didn’t really have many options. It was either Turkey, some African countries, or here.
The interesting part about Saranda is that it’s hard to reach. The absence of an airport requires people to go through a 6-hour adventure on a bus. This is not something you want to do on vacation because you basically lose 2 days on the road. Not cool! I didn’t really care about this much. I was there to work, not to fry my skin off. I was a bit wrong about the last part but whatever.
There are a few things I’ve learned about this country that are kind of amusing. First, their internet sucks. It might be okay to lose the connection for an hour when you’re chilling but having this when you’re working is tough. Imagine your ISP to shut down because of the weather, how would you feel about that? Confused, dazzled, pissed off? I was somewhere in between these three.
But the scariest times are often the ones when you start losing people during the video call because 8 mbps just can't handle it. The more people hop in, the greater the chances to miss something. To give you an idea, I was kicked out 3 times during 30 mins call. Nice!
While the internet is quite bad, the people turned out to be the opposite. They do things you don’t expect and try to help you always. My hosts liked me so much, they brought food on a weekly basis.
I’ve been in over 20 countries but I’ve never met anyone who did such a nice frequent gesture just because they wanted to. My brain tells me they are simply bored but my gut tells me this is genuine. Apparently, you can’t put everyone in the same box but I haven’t really met anyone with a bad attitude there during my stay.
In any case, living there was fun like in all places with seafood and amazing nature. I think I had my dose of beach life for some time that will allow me to provide even more value in the future.